Come heaven or high water

Dear Valley Church family,
Once upon a time there were two very religious men who lived in the same city that was flooded by a storm. The first man was poor and was caught in rising floodwaters. He climbed onto the roof of his house and trusted God to rescue him. A neighbor came by in a canoe and said, “Hop in and we’ll paddle to safety.”“No thanks,” replied the religious man, “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me.” A short time later the police came by in a boat. “Hop in and we’ll take you to safety.” “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me.” A little time later a rescue helicopter hovered overhead, let down a rope ladder, and said. “The waters will soon be above your house. Climb the ladder and we’ll fly you to safety.” “No thanks,” replied the religious man, “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me.” All this time the floodwaters continued to rise, until soon they reached above the roof and the religious man drowned. Ushered into God’s throne room he said, “Lord, why didn’t you do something? I trusted you to save me from that flood.” “Yes, you did, my child,” replied the Lord, “and I sent you a canoe, a boat and a helicopter. But you never got in.”
The second man was very rich and lived in a house high up on a hill. From the safety of his tall, stone walls he observed people caught in a flood. All around him people were scrambling on to rooftops to escape the rising waters. So the man took his private boat out on the waters. People cried out to him for help and he assured them, “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save you.” The waters continued to rise and the volunteer rescue squad asked to use his private helicopter to help save people, but the man said, “God is sovereign, He’ll save the ones He wants to save.” When the man went to heaven, he said to God, “Why didn’t you do something? I trusted you to save those people from that flood.” God said, “I did do something. I gave you a house high on a hill and a boat and a helicopter. Why didn’t YOU do something with what I gave you?”
In both cases there were good intentions, but faulty understandings of how God works. Once again we return to the truth we’ve seen many times in this series through the book of Psalms: “What you believe about God is the most important thing about you.”  
This week we finish our summer series, “Cries of the Heart; Psalms for Summer” with Psalm 82. This cry comes from the anguished heart of Asaph who saw God’s people not only turning away from God, but also turning away from their responsibility to care for the needy around them. Instead of trusting God to use them to stand up against evil, they chose instead to turn a blind eye to injustice and to continue in hypocritical worship from the safety of their secure and comfortable lifestyles. The pattern is always the same – worship for God grows cold, commitment to God falters, justice is abandoned, and the oppression of the vulnerable runs unchecked by God’s people. 
This Sunday we’ll examine reasons we may fall into these same temptations in the twenty-first century church. By God’s grace we’ll also see the amazing resources God has given to us for His glory and for the expansion of His Kingdom – if we’ll trust him enough to “…do something”.  
In Christ alone,